Bahrain’s Investcorp takes over Danish jewellery chain Georg Jensen

Bahrain’s alternative asset management firm Investcorp SA on Monday unveiled a USD140m (EUR109m) deal to buy Danish luxury retailer Georg Jensen A/S, saying it had teamed up with industry veteran and Nautica’s founder David Chu, who will become the firm’s creative director and co-chairman.

The agreement for the over 100-year old Georg Jensen was signed with the company’s current private equity owner Axcel Capital Partners.

The global luxury firm designs, manufactures and distributes jewellery, watches, fine silverware and high-end homeware which it sells through 94 fully-owned stores and three franchised outlets around the world. Georg Jensen, with some 1,200 staff and sales of around USD160m last year, belongs to the Royal Scandinavia Group which was acquired by Axcel in 2001.

Its CEO Ulrik Garde Due welcomed the deal, saying that under the ownership of Investcorp with vast experience in building luxury brands, his firm would be able to further enhance its global position as Scandinavia’s top luxury lifestyle brand.

Investcorp has pledged to take Georg Jensen to a global level together with the firm’s management and David Chu, Hazem Ben-Gacem, head of Investcorp’s European corporate investment business, noted. At completion of the deal, Guy Leymarie, former CEO of DeBeers Diamond Jewellers, Cartier International and Dunhil, will also become a member of Georg Jensen’s board, the buyer said.

According to Investcorp’s head of corporate communications, Firas El Amin, as cited by Reuters today, the price for Georg Jensen will be fully paid with working capital and capital expenditure facilities from Nordea Bank AB (STO:NDA-SEK).

With USD11.5bn worth of assets under management as of 30 June 2012, Investcorp has offices in London, New York and Bahrain.